On Feb. 8, City Council approved an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was informed through feedback from residents last year.
The plan, which is updated every five years, aims to minimize, or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from known hazards, such as droughts floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and other major disasters. Hazard mitigation efforts include projects such as flood channel clearing, road and bridge design changes, property buy-outs, building code changes, or public alert systems.
”A priority for City Council is to better prepare and respond to disasters,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “This plan is a critical tool to ensure we appropriately inventory the natural hazards facing Georgetown and prioritize efforts to mitigate those threats.”
Residents were able to provide input on the draft plan through May 30, 2021. The City hosted an online survey Dec. 17, 2020-Jan. 17, 2021, asking residents and business owners to help identify, analyze, and prepare for potential hazards.
During that survey, residents and business owners were asked to share whether they had been affected by disaster events and what areas of the community they thought are particularly vulnerable to potential disasters. The City received 349 responses to the survey. Of those who responded, 47 percent indicated they had been affected by a natural or manmade disaster in the past five years, the most common being hail.
The public was able to provide comments on the draft plan through May 30, 2021, which was compiled and included in the final draft plan, along with feedback from a City Council workshop on April 13, 2021. The bulk of the comments centered on improving communications with the public during emergencies and better preparing for and improving community awareness of various hazards, including drought, wildfire, flash flooding, and human-caused disasters like hazardous material spills.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency reviewed and approved the plan on Jan. 6. City Council unanimously adopted the plan Feb. 8, 2022.
The final plan is available on the City’s website. The updated Hazard Mitigation Plan also allows the city to pursue different federal and state funding opportunities to implement the plan.